Monterey Bay Area Nature Tours

This extended all-day tour lasts approximately 10 hours.  The tour visits within viewing distance of Monterey Bay areas frequented by sea otters and Monarch butterflies. Special features include: 

Sea Otters

Otters are the smallest marine mammals, weighing 40-70 lb. (18-31 kg.)—larger than river otters—and members of the weasel family. Otters eat floating on their back, using their chests as a table.  (They use rocks as tools to break open shellfish.)

They stay warm in cold water burning calories at nearly three times the rate you do. An otter forages and consumes up to 25% of its body weight daily, protecting offshore kelp forests from being destroyed by sea urchins. This makes otters key species of the California coast habitat.

Sea Otter floating in Monterey Bay, California

An otter’s coat has pockets—flaps of skin under each front leg. An otter uses them to stash prey during a dive, which leaves its paws free to hunt some more.

Monarch Butterflies

Traveling a 2000-mile migration route, 3rd and 4th generation Monarch butterflies defy rationale and find their way across the North America, overwintering on the California coast and in the Sierra Madre mountains of Mexico.

Monarch Butterfly
Monarch Butterfly

In season, we visit overwintering sites at coastal stands of winter-bloom eucalyptus trees where the butterflies find a nectar supply.  By sheer strength of numbers, Monarchs share bodily warmth through the weak winter sun—giving the sunny side of coastal groves a vibrant orange glow.

Butterfly Tree
"Butterfly Tree" (Monarch butterflies on eucalyptus) near Monterey, California

Cloaked in orange and black—natural warning colors—Monarchs are distasteful to predators, although hungry birds may select out the least distasteful butterflies in hard times.

17-Mile Drive

This well-known scenic drive established in 1881 offers memorable images of varied terrain from forest to coast, with abundant wildlife: seabirds, marine mammals, and colorful wildflowers.  

17-Mile Drive 

Tour Details

Extended full-day tour, 10 hours: Daily, 9 am. Curbside pickup.

$200 - Per Adult. (Dollar amounts for tours are listed simply as guidelines for the various A Day in Nature tours.)

$175 - Per Senior (60+), Per Child (12 or under)

Convenient, front-door pickup from downtown San Francisco hotels and nearby neighborhoods. Tours run in a sport utility vehicle. Binoculars, water & light refreshments supplied on the tour. Extra jackets, parkas, rain gear & hats available on the tour. Tours are never strenuous unless you insist! Fully licensed and insured.

We're sorry, but pets cannot accompany their owners on tours.

Contact Colin Sloan at A Day in Nature to book your tour, adayinnature@startmail.com, (415) 673-0548.